Story and photos by Stefanus Ian/Red Sports
National Stadium, 2019, March 29 — As Kampton Kam looked at the bar that was set at 2.15 metres, he raised both his hands in the air and began clapping — urging his Victoria Junior College (VJC) supporters, seated behind him, to clap along.
With the crowd clapping with him, Kampton then steadied himself. As he began his run-up, the rhythm of the clapping sped up alongside him almost as if to give an extra lift to the 18-year-old high jumper, who had already failed his first attempt at the record-breaking height.
Kampton smoothly took off, with his eyes fixed firmly on the bar, he arched his body over the bar and as his legs cleanly floated above the bar, you could see his gritted teeth break into a smile of disbelief.
“2.13 (metres) was part of the game plan with me and my coach but 2.15 was definitely out of the question, so I was quite amazed to be able to clear it,” said a delighted Kampton to Red Sports after the competition, who added that his coach actually had advised him against clapping before.
“I don’t really have a very good record with clapping,” said the VJC student, who rewrote his own national under-20 high jump record, previously set at 2.10 metres.
“Last year, I tried clapping at the 2.07m for the championship record but I failed then I got injured, so my coach was like ‘I think clapping is not really for you’,” he added.
“But since it was my last national school games after a good 10 years, I thought I’ll just end it on a high. I was ready to be contented with a 2.13m, but I cleared (2.15) and I’m really amazed.”
Following his epic jump, Kampton pumped his fist and screamed with joy. After breaking his own 2.10-metre high jump schools record, he is now only seven centimetres away from the Singapore national record and three centimetres away from qualifying for the 2019 SEA Games.
What makes this result more special was the fact that he competed with a back injury which he picked up from a bus accident in January this year. He was also limping after his successful 2.15 metres jump, which required him to skip his second jump attempt at 2.18 metres on the advice of his coach, Yu Long Nyu, who has been with him since primary three.
He would eventually bow out at 2.18 metres but not without giving his appreciation to his supporters with a backflip on the high jump cushion.
“I would like to thank everyone who came down to support me, it was really beyond my wildest dreams,” said Kampton, who will now look ahead to his next competition in April, the Asian Athletics Championships in Doha.
The silver medal for the high jump event went to Hansel Loh of Hwa Chong Institution who cleared 1.95 metres while Jonathan Pua of Raffles Institution rounded off the podium with the bronze medal by jumping a final height of 1.93 metres.
A Division High Jump (Boys) Results
1 Kampton Kam (#193, Victoria Junior College)— 2.15 metres
2 Hansel Loh (#249, Hwa Chong Institution) — 1.95m
3 Jonathan Pua (#126, Raffles Institution) — 1.93m
4 Andrew Pak (#260, Hwa Chong Institution) — 1.89m
5 Andrew George Medina (#21, Singapore Sports School) — 1.89m
6 Keith Chua (#194, Victoria Junior College) — 1.78m
7 Ong Wee Teck (#257, Hwa Chong Institution) — 1.75m
8 Ngo Seng Kiat (#11, Eunoia Junior College) — 1.70m
More photos next page